Here is the darling mom to be, my daughter Jenna, my daughter in law Lauren, and surrogate daughter Ester.
Before I begin any project I do an inspiration board. It helps me visualize all of the elements to make sure they all “jive” You can use canva or olioboard for this.
I am not big on renting expensive party supplies. I found the Kate Spade polka dot napkins on Ebay. I would rather buy something I can reuse than rent expensive napkins and table toppers. I had the reasonable tabletoppers made at Linen Order on Etsy. The silver feathers I already owned purchase at Bijou in Paso Robles. One of my favorite sources for darling clothes, baby things and gifts! The coral ribbon was purchased on Amazon as well as the polka dot caspari napkins.
I made the nametags myself on Canva. I am a huge Canva fan.I had originally planned to have the party outside but it was too cold. We set up two round tables in the family room
…and used the long table in the dining room. I made the Mommy to be sign on Canva.
We played a couple simple games for icebreakers. This one was a good one . We played it as soon as everyone arrived. Be sure to time it and watch out for collaborators (or cheaters Pat & Mary)!!
My assistants did all the food except for the two simple appetizers that are two of my simple gotos. Brussel Sprouts with lemon yogurt dip, adapted from this food network recipe and my favorite smoked trout dip.
For the brunch Pat made a gorgeous fresh fruit platter
and this amazing beet salad
Roasted Beet Salad with Citrus Viniagrette
For the Salad:
- 5 ounces arugula, wild rocket, or your preferred mixed greens
- 1/8 cup raw pine nuts
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (optional, but so pretty!)
- Goat Cheese, crumbled
- 1 ruby red grapefruit, sectioned
- Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for 3-4 minutes or until the pine nuts turn golden brown. Pine nuts can go from toasted to burnt really quickly, so whatever you do, don’t walk away from that pan! They burn so easily and the smell is worse than burnt popcorn in the company break room! This is speaking from experience! Remove the pine nuts from the heat and set aside.
- Section the grapefruit by removing the peel and the white pith with a very sharp knife. Working over the bowl of sliced beets, hold the grapefruit in one hand and with the knife in your other hand, cut alongside the membrane of each section allowing the sections to fall into bowl. Gently fold the grapefruit into the beets.
- Lightly dress the arugula with the remainder of the dressing and toss with your hands (you don’t have to use it all–the recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing).
- Top the arugula with the beets and grapefruit, then sprinkle with the pine nuts, goat cheese and pomegranate arils.
For the Citrus Viniagrette
- 1/4 c champagne vinegar
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup citrus olive oil
- 3 T lemon juice
- 2 T orange juice
- 1 small shallot
- 1/4 t grated lemon zest
Add kosher salt and ground pepper to taste. Shake in a jar. Can be made a day ahead and kept for a week.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 2 1/2 oz Gruyère, grated
- 4 oz andouille sausage, chopped
- Preheat oven to 425° with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup water, butter, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium; keep stirring until mixture has formed a smooth, thick paste and pulls away from sides of pan, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or to a large heatproof bowl.
- If using a stand mixer, add 4 eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed until egg is incorporated and dough is smooth before adding the next egg.
- If mixing by hand, add 4 eggs, 1 at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until egg is incorporated and dough is smooth before adding the next egg. The mixture should be very thick, smooth, and shiny. Stir in Gruyère and andouille.
- Use a tablespoon measure to drop dough into 1″ rounds about 1 1/2″ apart on prepared baking sheets. You should have about 24 gougères.
- In a small bowl, whisk remaining egg with a pinch of salt. Brush the top of each gougère with egg wash.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375°, rotate baking sheets, and continue baking until gougères are puffed and browned, about 15 minutes more. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Phyllo Egg Cups with Ham and Cheese
8 sheet phyllo dough, thawed
⅓ cup (75 mL) butter, melted (approx.)
1 cup (250 mL) diced Black Forest ham
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
1 cup (250 mL) Black Diamond Mozza Cheddar Shredded Cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface, keeping remainder covered with a damp towel; brush with a bit of the butter. Top with another sheet of phyllo; brush with a bit more butter. Cut into six squares.
2. Stack three of these squares, rotating each square slightly for the points to be slightly offset from each other; press into each of two greased muffin cups. Repeat with remaining phyllo and butter to make eight cups.
3. In a small bowl, toss ham with mustard; divide among each cup. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Crack an egg into each cup; top with remaining cheese and the green onions. Sprinkle with pepper.
4. Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven until eggs are set and pastry is golden brown, 16 to 20 minutes.
For dessert, we ordered cookies from Blue Aces Bakeshop in Salinas. They were wonderful!
Everyone left with a favor, a mini bottle of sparkling to open the day Jenna’s baby is born! The straws were found on Etsy
I think a good time was had by all. Stop here if you don’t want to see more people pics! Here I am with my oldest friend Tia. We met when we first moved to California and my blogging pal Mary Ann (Classic Casual Home). Maryann has a great post up today you won’t want to miss!
It helped having two adorable assistants Caroline and Margot (Jenna’s nieces and future babysitters),
…and a couple of mischievous dogs…
A huge thank you to my partners in crime Pat and Lauren. You guys made it look easy. I certainly couldn’t have done it without them. Pat took photographs so she managed to escape the camera. Pat is beautiful inside and out. I feel very fortunate to call her my friend.